Introduction of Turnips: – The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable generally grown in temperate climates, tropical and subtropical regions of India for its white, bulbous taproot. The most common type of turnip is colored in white. This root vegetable belongs to the family or “Brassicaceae” and genus of “Brassica”. The small and tender roots are used for culinary purpose where as bigger size turnips are used as animal feed.
Health benefits of Turnips: – Following are some of the health benefits of Turnips.
• Turnips may help in cancer prevention.
• Turnips are good for heart health.
• Turnips have anti inflammatory properties.
• Turnips are good source of antioxidants.
• Turnips support in bone health.
• Turnips are good source fiber.
• Turnips are good for digestive health.
• Turnips aid in weight loss.
Local names for turnips in India: – Shalgam (Hindi), Salgam (Marathi), Tella Dumpa (Telugu), Knolkol (Tamil), Navil Kosu (kannada), Salgum (Assamese), Shalgam (Bengali), Shalgam (Punjabi, Oriya), Madhura Mullangi (Malayalam), Salagama (Gujarati).
High Turnip Production sates of India: – Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana.
Types of Varieties of Turnips in India: – Turnip varieties are categorized in to two main groups. They are Asiatic or Tropical & .Temperate or European type. These two groups further classified based on root shape, skin and flesh color. However, the turnip varieties preferred for commercial cultivation are given below: –
• Early Milan Red top
• Purple top white globe
• Punjab Safed 4
• Golden Ball
• Snow ball
• Pusa Sweti
• Pusa Kanchan
• Pusa Swarnima
• Pusa Chandrima
Climate requirement for turnip farming: – Turnips thrive best in cool and moist climatic conditions. These root vegetables can be grown even in the areas where summer temperatures are moderate. The optimum temperature range of 10ᵒ C to 16ᵒ C is ideal for development of good root texture, best flavor and excellent size. It requires short day lengths and cool climate for better development of roots. The Asiatic type of turnip tolerates high temperature where as temperate type of turnip thrives well in cool climatic conditions.
Soil requirement for Turnip farming: – Turnip vegetable can be cultivated on wide range of soils. However, well drained sandy loam soils with high in humus are the bet for its cultivation. Very light sandy soils or to heavy soils are not suitable for its cultivation.
Land preparation in Turnip farming: – In turnip farming, land preparation would be same as radish farming. Give couple of ploughs to being the soil to the fine tilth sage and weed free, supplement the soil with appropriate well rotten farm yard Manure (FMY) (25 tones/ha).
Propagation in Turnip farming: – Turnips are propagated through seeds.
Sowing, Spacing and Planting in Turnip farming: – The sowing time for Asiatic type of turnips is best from July to Sept where as for Temperate or European type of turnips from Oct to Dec in the plains. In hills regions, the best sowing season is from July to Sept. Generally, Turnip seeds are sown directly either in ridges or lines prepared during the land preparation. Usually flat beds are used for sowing the turnip seeds. However, in low lying regions or during monsoon, it should be done on ridges.
Turnip seeds should be sown on ridges or rows @ 30cm apart while keeping the row to row distance of 6 to 7cm. usually, seeds are sown at 1.5cm depth and seeds should be mixed with sand for uniform sowing.
In turnip cultivation, seeds can germinate within a weed and the success of seed germination is about 90%. Thinning should be carried out after 2 weeks of germination. The turnip plants should be placed @ 12 to 15cm within the row.
Manures and fertilizers in Turnip farming: – Apply a farmyard manure (FMY) of 25 tons/ha as basal dose at the time of land preparation.
Apply “A” @ 80 to 100 kg/ha, “P” @ 50 kg/ha. The full does of P & K, half dose of “N” should be applied before sowing the seeds. The leftover “N” should be applied in 2 split doses with one is at the time of root formation and the 2nd dose at the time of root knobs development. Phosphatic and potassic fertilizers should be applied at 8 cm depth before sowing the seeds. In case of micronutrient deficiency, spray the 1kg/ha of Micnelf MS-24 one or two times based on the requirement.
Irrigation in Turnip farming: – Irrigation should be carried out as soon as seeds are sown and the frequency of irrigation depends on the soil moisture holding capacity and climate conditions. Generally to maintain optimum moisture, irrigation should be given at 8 to 10 days intervals. Mulching also retains good moisture content in the soil apart from preventing weed growth. In rainy season, there is no need of any irrigation. In case of heavy rains or floods, make sure to drain out the water from the soil.
Weed control in turnip farming: – About 3 hoeing can be given to control the weeds in the turnip plantation. The earthling up should be done during 2nd & 3rd hoeing after the top dressing application of “N” fertilizers for producing quality roots. Total of 3 weeding are required in turnips farming till the harvesting time. Herbicides like Tok E-25 kg/ha can be used as pre-emergence application to control the weeds effectively.
Harvesting in Turnip farming: – Turnips will be ready for harvesting when tender roots are uprooted with good size. Usually, the turnip roots are harvested when they are about 6 to 10 cm in diameter depending on the turnip variety cultivated. If turnips are not harvested in right time, they become tough & fibrous. Harvesting is preferred in the evening.
Yield in turnip farming: – Yield depends on the variety and soil type, climate conditions along with the farm management practices. In turnips farming, an average yield of 250-400 quintals/ha can be obtained.